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Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   Aug. 16, 2002 at 3:08 AM   |   Comments

(Aug. 16)

Today's musical birthdays include Fess Parker, who was born in 1927 (age 75). He played the title character in the "Davy Crockett" TV series and recorded the first of 1955's four hit versions of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." American Breed's Gary Loizzo was born in 1945 (age 57); Kevin Ayers also in 1945 (age 57); Golden Earring's Barry Hay in 1948 (age 54); James "J.T." Taylor of Kool and the Gang in 1953 (age 49); and Madonna in 1958 (age 44).


Today in music history:

In 1935, Patsy Montana recorded "I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart."

In 1938, blues musician Robert Johnson died at age 27.

In 1962, the Beatles fired drummer Pete Best and hired Ringo Starr.

Also in 1962, "Little" Stevie Wonder released his debut single "I Call It Pretty Music But the Old Folks Call It the Blues (Parts 1 and 2)." It was not a hit.

In 1974, punk was launched in the United States when the Ramones played its first gig at CBGB in New York.

In 1975, Peter Gabriel announced he was leaving Genesis. He was replaced as lead singer by drummer Phil Collins.

In 1977, Elvis Presley was found dead in his bathroom at Graceland, his Memphis mansion. He was 42.

In 1983, Paul Simon married "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher, the daughter of 1950s hitmakers Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. They would separate less than a year later.

In 1985, Madonna married actor Sean Penn in Malibu, Calif. The marriage did not last.

In 1986, Nashville songwriter John Hurley died of liver failure at age 45. His songs included "Son Of A Preacher Man" and "Love Of The Common People."

In 1991, Joseph "Run" Simmons of the rap group Run-DMC was accused of raping a Cleveland woman following a concert a week earlier. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

In 1994, Reba McEntire topped the nomination list -- with six nominations -- for the 28th annual Country Music Awards.

In 1996, thousands of Elvis fans flocked to Memphis to mark the 19th anniversary of Presley's death.

Also in 1996, about 1,000 Madonna fans flocked to a Southfield, Mich., motel for the fifth annual Madonna Fest.

In 1998, the Goo Goo Dolls, Dishwalla, Joan Osborne, Marcy Playground and Third Eye Blind were among the acts who performed at the second day of "A Day in the Garden," commemorating the 29th anniversary of the original Woodstock. The first day had included several alumni from the 1969 festival -- such as Pete Townshend and Joni Mitchell. The two-day event took place at what used to be Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, N.Y.

In 1999, Mariah Carey's new single "Heartbreaker" premiered exclusively on MSN's WindowsMedia.com. It was the first single from Carey's ninth album "Rainbow."

Also in 1999, a Detroit leasing company sued The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, claiming he owed more than $150,000 for a rented tour bus.


Topping the charts on this date:

Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and his Comets (1955), Fingertips 0 Pt 2 - Little Stevie Wonder (1963), How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - The Bee Gees (1971), Bad Girls - Donna Summer (1979).


Today's musical quiz:

Madonna appears in the background of a scene in the 1983 movie "Vision Quest." What is she doing? Answer: Singing, specifically a song titled "Crazy for You."

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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